Kesh Senior Citizens Club – The Evergreens has received a £3,420 grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants roll out of £743,207 to 95 groups across Northern Ireland including £54,484 to eight groups in Fermanagh. (See full list of awards)
Kesh Senior Citizens Club – The Evergreens provides a range of activities and information services for older people in Kesh. They are using the £3,420 to promote the current luncheon club to reach more isolated people in the area and provide a Christmas party.
Club Deputy Chair Joan Bell said that Annie Flynn (91) and her friend Mrs Curran helped set up club for senior citizens in 1982, meeting once a month in the community centre. At the beginning there were 12 or 14 members, and membership has grown over the years to more than 70 people, from Lack, Enniskillen, Ballinamallard, Irvinestown and Kesh.
Annie owned a hairdressing business and worked up to the age of 70, taking a day off per week to run the Kesh Evergreens club. Kesh Evergreens offer a variety of activities – including information services, community safety advice, exercise sessions, a walks programme, games, theatre visits, outings and a lunch club.
Annie’s husband passed away in 2003 and around that time she stepped down as chair of the club, after 21 years. She remained a very involved member, and always enjoys a good social life through the Evergreens, taking part in painting, crafts, boccia and new age curling.
If a member is unable to come to the club due to injury or illness, other members come to them, bringing lunch to eat together, and helping with transport to doctor appointments and other necessary trips.
Joan Bell said: “In most rural communities senior citizens clubs are the only social outlet for the elderly population. We have an ageing population here and the club plays an important part in providing a networking and social outlet to combat isolation.
“The club at the moment is in a very healthy and vibrant state. Members take part in various activities within the community, including the Kesh Carnival, and many Christmas festivities. We have open days where invitations are sent out to all the senior citizens within the community, with an excellent response. At the moment we are hoping to set up a singing group and drama group. This is the first big grant the club has received and it will help us to continue with this good work and increase our membership for many years to come. “
Other Fermanagh groups receiving Awards for All grants
Ballinamallard Friday Club provides social activities for isolated older people in the area. They are using the £2,868 to run a year-long programme of health and well-being activities and outings for their members.
Brookeborough Flute Band promotes and encourages the playing and the culture of traditional music in Brookeborough in Fermanagh. They are using the £10,000 to buy equipment for their hall so it can be used for a greater range of community events and activities.
Naiscoil an Traonaigh provides pre-school education for children in the Lisnaskea area. They are using the £6,442 grant to run a five day community festival over the summer holidays with educational and fun activities in the Irish medium.
Cairde Bhunscoil an Traonaigh is a PTA group of an Irish medium school in Co Fermanagh, in Drumburghas North, near Lisnaskea. They are using the £6,525 to provide a programme of after school activities which will increase children’s physical activity and introduce them to a diverse range of experiences, teach life-saving skills and increase self confidence.
Callowhill Masonic Lodge No 453 based in Derrylin in south Fermanagh, provides a range of community, educational and social events. They received a grant of £9,960 to make improvements to the hall to meet the needs of the local community.
Fermanagh Visually Impaired Persons Club offers support to primarily older people who are blind or partially sighted in rural parts of Co Fermanagh. They received £5,269 to provide a programme of uplifting activities, including music, dancing, art, relaxation techniques and walking.
Jones Memorial Primary School in the Mullylogan area, Enniskillen, received £10,000 to install an outdoor fitness gym for use outside of class time.